This Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup combines tender chicken, pillowy gnocchi, tender baby spinach, and a flavorful broth that'll instantly warm your soul. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it's a weeknight dinner winner.
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The Olive Garden is one of my favorite restaurants. I mean, who doesn't love Olive Garden Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo With Grilled Chicken, Olive Garden Lobster Ravioli, and Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo?
It's comfort food at its finest. But because I live two hours away from the nearest one, and it is much cheaper to make it at home, I'm excited to share this easy recipe that tastes just as good as Olive Garden's soup. I have tweaked it quite a few times to get it just right.
Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
- Quick and Easy - Whip up this soup in less than 30 minutes!
- Restaurant Quality - Enjoy the flavors of Olive Garden right in your own kitchen!
- Family Favorite - Your whole family will be asking for seconds.
- Economical - Make a delicious restaurant-style meal at home.
- Kid-Friendly - Even the pickiest eaters will love this Olive Garden copycat recipe!
- Delicious - This is a favorite soup to serve any time of year.
You'll need the following simple ingredients to make this Instant Pot chicken gnocchi soup.
- Onion and garlic are sautéd to build a flavorful base for the soup. Freshly minced or pre-minced garlic both work well.
- Carrots and celery. Dice them the same size for even cooking.
- Chicken Breasts. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook quickly in the pressure cooker and soak up all the delicious flavor.
- Chicken broth. Use a low-sodium variety to control the salt content, or make homemade chicken broth. I love to use my Homemade Smoked Chicken Stock to add a hint of smoky flavor.
- Half and half and cornstarch make a slurry that adds richness and a velvety texture to the broth.
- Spinach. Fresh spinach leaves are added at the end for a burst of vibrant color and nutrition.
- Gnocchi. These little potato dumplings are so fun to use. Use fresh or dried potato gnocchi - both work well.
- Seasoning. This soup is seasoned with dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Parmesan cheese. This adds flavor to the soup as well as helps thicken it. I used freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for the best flavor.
See the printable recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
- Gnocchi - Use regular potato gnocchi or cauliflower gnocchi.
- Chicken - Use rotisserie chicken instead for an easy shortcut and skip the browning step, or use skinless chicken thighs, Italian sausage, or shrimp.
- Garlic - Roast the garlic in the oven before using it for a richer flavor.
- Cream - Use heavy cream for richer, creamy chicken gnocchi soup, or whole milk for a lighter soup.
- Spicy - Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to add a spicy kick.
- Bacon - Crumble crispy cooked Air Fryer Bacon over the soup for extra flavor.
How To Make Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Turn on the sauté setting of your Instant Pot. Add olive oil, unsalted butter, minced garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Saute for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Step 2: Add the diced chicken breasts to the pot and saute until no pink remains on the outside.
Step 3: Add the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits. Add the seasonings and stir to combine. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the valve to 'Sealing,' and set the cook time to high pressure for 8 minutes. Once complete, natural release the pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release of any remaining pressure.
Step 4: Hit 'Cancel' and turn on the 'Saute' mode. Add the gnocchi, stir, and wait 2-3 minutes for them to rise.
Step 5: Whisk the half and half with cornstarch until smooth and add to the pot, followed by the Parmesan cheese. Stir until the soup is thickened.
Step 6: Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with additional Parmesan and fresh herbs if desired.
Stove Top Instructions
Follow the same steps as above, except use a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside. Add the chicken broth and seasonings. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the gnocchi, then the half and half and cornstarch slurry, and heat until thickened. Add the Parmesan cheese and spinach, stir, and serve.
- Brown the chicken until it is golden brown on the outside - this adds an extra layer of flavor.
- The gnocchi cooks quickly, so don't add it until the end. If it is overcooked, it may turn mushy.
- If you want a thicker soup, add more cornstarch slurry, a teaspoon at a time.
- For a thinner soup, add more chicken broth.
You do not cook the gnocchi before adding it to the soup in this recipe. Gnocchi cooks in just a few minutes in the chicken broth and soaks up the flavors of the soup.
Gnocchi is an Italian pasta made from mashed potatoes, flour, and sometimes eggs.
While potato gnocchi is one of the most popular gnocchi, you can also find ricotta gnocchi or spinach gnocchi.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
I do not advise freezing this soup as the gnocchi may turn mushy.
Reheat leftover soup on the stovetop over low-medium heat to prevent burning. Add chicken broth if the soup is too thick. You can also reheat it in the microwave on medium power, stirring in 30-second increments.
Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup carrots diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound potato gnocchi
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- Turn on the 'Sauté' function on your pressure cooker. Add olive oil, butter, minced garlic, diced onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the diced chicken to the pot and saute until it is no longer pink on the outside.
- Add the chicken broth, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Once complete, natural release for 5 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Hit 'Cancel' and turn on the 'Saute' mode again. Add the gnocchi, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until they rise. Whisk together half and half and cornstarch in a separate bowl and add to the pot along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir until it starts to thicken.
- Add the fresh spinach and stir until wilted.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with fresh herbs and more grated Parmesan if desired, and enjoy!
- While store-bought gnocchi works perfectly, make homemade potato gnocchi from scratch if you're feeling ambitious.
- For extra flavor, add a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind to the soup when you add the chicken broth - but remove it before serving. This is a secret ingredient many Italian cooks swear by.
- Add your favorite vegetables to the soup.
- To save time, use a shredded rotisserie chicken.